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2010 July 01 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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No Surprises

Gulf Gusher symbolSo, I was wondering what happened to Joe’s Bait Shop under the BP’s claims system, and today the Miami Herald tells me:
Business owners blast BP’s claims rules

As hundreds of business owners shuffle through the claims process to recover losses caused by the oil disaster, BP’s promise that it will “deny no legitimate claim” is taking on a bitter meaning.

“They have not denied our claim. They have just not paid it all,” said Tommy Holmes, owner of Outcast Marine, a fishing-tackle supply company in Pensacola.

Holmes lost $73,000 in May and expects losses in June to exceed $100,000. BP has paid him $26,000 for May and refuses to pay the rest, he says. Holmes plans to sue them.

“They’re nickel and diming us — and they’re getting away with it,” he said.

The problem: BP’s definition of what it is willing to cover.

As far as BP is concerned they should only be responsible for the lost “profit”, which is minimal after a small business deducts the costs of their store front and utilities, as well as any wages. The overall profit at a large supermarket is normally under 5% after all of the costs are deducted.

A fisherman can’t make his boat payments on a system like that. The system is designed to crush people, not make them whole. BP wants to appear to be dealing fairly with the problem while forcing people to sue them for the real damages caused by the spill.

July 1, 2010   Comments Off on No Surprises

The Silly Will Always Be With Us

In a fit of amazing stupidity, Kartik Athreya, a PhD economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond wrote an open letter and posted it on the bank’s web site complaining that macro economics is too complicated for “the common people” to understand and that bloggers don’t know what they are talking about.

After it was discovered by serious people at the bank, it was taken down, but they failed to understand that having attracted the attention of bloggers with an attack on people such as Paul Krugman, the the Kartik Athreys letter had already been archived, and those insulted began to respond.

Numerian at The Agonist wrote a rebuke of the condescending tone of the letter is Send in the Clowns, while Fred Clark at The Slacktivist chose Biblical snark for Rendering unto Krugman.

Fred cuts to the chase – we know what worked the last time, so why are we wasting time talking about policies that clearly failed?

July 1, 2010   1 Comment

Because They Care?

Gulf Gusher symbolYou have to know that the BP brand has turned toxic when CNN releases their attack gerbels: BP plans to get rid of safety watchdog, sources say

Washington (CNN) — BP has been trying to shut down an internal safety watchdog agency it set up under congressional pressure four years ago, according to sources close to the office and a leading congressman.

The Ombudsman Program was set up after a 2005 explosion at a BP refinery in Texas that killed 15 workers and a massive oil spill in Alaska the following year. Its chief, former federal judge Stanley Sporkin, would not comment for this story — but a source inside his office told CNN, “I’m surprised we’re still here.”

Apparently BP doesn’t need this program because their internal system will take care of all of these issues… usually by firing the complainers if the past pattern is any indicator.

But they don’t just ignore their employees, as Rick Outzen notes, BP walks out of Crist’s Oil Spill Meeting. After all, a BP executive took the trouble to show up and give a speech surrounded by his minions, you didn’t really expect him to hang around and listen to the complaints of people being destroyed by the Well from Hell? I mean, why waste time listening to a bunch of complaints that you intend to ignore?

Escambia County officials wonder: Why aren’t skimmers working off our water? Because the media is paying attention to Mississippi at the moment, and having enough skimmers to cover all of the coast isn’t necessary, because they have stalled long enough that the damage is already done. It’s too expensive to do the job right, whether it’s drilling a well, or cleaning up the mess.

July 1, 2010   2 Comments

Canada Day

La fête du


Thank you for not yet building a fence along your southern or western border, and for brewing great beer.

Schedule of Ottawa events and some background.

July 1, 2010   3 Comments

Tropical Depression Alex – Day 6

Tropical Depression AlexPosition: 23.3N 102.4W [10 PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [275°] near 12 mph [19 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 30 mph [65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [80 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1000 mb ↑.

It is 35 miles [55 km] North-Northeast of Zacatecas, Mexico.

Alex is expected to dissipate later today in the mountains of Mexico, but it is still producing significant rain in Mexico and South Texas. This is the last advisory.

Alex was the first June hurricane since Allison in 1995, and the most powerful since Alma in 1944.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 1, 2010   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Alex – Day 6